The chef has selected a full-bodied red to go with the seafood paella we are digging into. We are in a lavish white dining area adorned with mirrors, lush carpets, leather armchairs and a wine cellar to die for. Outside it is arid and dry – a typical Spanish summer afternoon – while inside, at the Porcelanosa Grupo headquarters, I am sitting amid luxurious living room spaces, kitchen areas and opulent bathrooms fit for kings. And for once, the cliché is literal. The royal family of England, headed by Prince Charles, is a fan of the Spanish ceramic and tiling manufacturer. Porcelanosa enjoys the coveted Royal Warrant and has been working on the Royal residences since 2005. Thanks to the royal patronage, they have also opened 28 superstores in the UK and are touted as Europe’s biggest tiling firm. Their interactive showroom in Castellon is where we are introduced to 24K Province, the luxury residential project Pune-based real estate developers, Kolte Patil, are creating in collaboration with Porcelanosa.
Founded two decades ago, KPDL is one of the foremost real estate companies with over 10 million sq. ft. of landmark developments in Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore. Over the years, the company has not only created fine residential projects but also commercial spaces, IT parks, integrated townships and hotels. The 24K Province project is about taking luxury living a notch higher. Global brands, celebrity interior designers and world class architecture come together for a truly extravagant affair. The two upcoming projects under the 24K Province banner are 24K Atria and Opula. Situated at Pimple Nilakh near the Hinjewadi Infotech Park and overlooking a 400-acre defense green zone, the properties are well-connected to the city but are tastefully secluded enough for those who prefer a touch of exclusivity.
What makes 24K Atria and Opula special projects are Kolte Patil’s collaboration with global firms like Porcelanosa for the latest tiling, kitchen and bathroom furniture and accessories. Porcelanosa Grupo’s kitchen and bathroom furniture brands, Gamadecor and Noken, are recognised worldwide for their utility-based designs for modern homes. Kitchen furniture varies from single unit systems to multi-door, multi-functional family size setups which allow clients to choose according to their family sizes and dining needs. How about a transformer-like cube which doubles as a work station by day and a functional kitchen by night? An extendable dining table, radiation cooking stations, refrigerator, microwave oven, wine cabinet and storage space for crockery – all of that jumps out of an innocent looking reading area with a push of a few buttons. Or, maybe you would prefer a kitchen which creates a fifth wall for you out of a large living room area? While on one side, the ‘wall’ contains cabinets, a refrigerator and oven stations, on the other, it is a dress wardrobe and study area for a tiny tot. Cooking up a flurry in your open kitchen but don’t want your date to see the mess you’ve created? Who knew a whole cooking station could retract behind plush cabinet doors. In the kind of space crunch we live in, such revolutionary solutions will definitely be lauded in India. While the kitchen designs are minimalistic and unapologetically avant garde, the bathroom furniture borrow influences from Spanish motifs and oriental colour palettes. There is an air of classical opulence with tall mirrors, ornate frames and shelves, rich black marble floors and polished gold fittings, solid stone bathtubs with neatly carved legs, colour coordinated dressing and vanity areas in rich leather and wood/stone and modern Jacuzzi and shower spaces. “After months of research we realized that India and Spain share similarities in preferences when it comes to design and décor. We are bringing the individual influences together to produce products that will be palatable to the Indian taste,” says Jimmy D’Heer, Corporate Product Manager at Porcelanosa. He discusses motif and similarities in colour palette. “The traditional colour combinations are quite alike between India and Spain. We love warm and jewel tones and have similar paisley motifs in traditional art. But the challenge lies in creating products which appeal to urban cosmopolitan tastes while having traditional influences. We have been successful in doing that.” D’Heer concludes. Pramod Nemade, Vice President-Materials, Kolte Patil, agrees. “When we discuss this project with people, they are surprised that we got a Spanish company on board. Why, they often ask. Porcelanosa’s reputation is well known. They hold quality and precision most highly. But more importantly, our aesthetic tastes surprisingly matched. We wanted the same thing – global products that were rooted in traditional tastes. When you walk into the apartments and penthouses, you know they are world class, but in everything, the tiles, the kitchen, the bath fittings, you will find a hint of nostalgia.”
The young man heading the 24K Province project has big dreams. 25-year old Nirmal Kolte wants to redefine luxury properties in the Indian market. “We did not want to create a luxury project just for the sake of it. Earlier, one building with a pool and a park was deemed as luxury. Those are basic amenities today. We want to change that. Luxury is defined by the quality and finesse of the products used in the project. Every product, every fitting had to be from a world renowned brand – that was our aim. So, after almost a year and half into the project we came across Porcelanosa and started talking to them.” So when are they launching these crown jewels? “24K Atria and Opula will be launched next month and three more projects will launch in the consecutive months. After establishing the brand in Pune, we plan to expand to the metros with 24K Province landmarks,” Kolte confidently signs off.